How much does a Software Engineer earn in Australia?

A Software Engineer's salary depends on many factors, including their organisation, industry niche, and level of seniority and experience. A Linux Engineer can earn between $87,000 and $115,000 per year, while a Senior (.Net/Java) Engineer can earn from $95,000 to almost $150,000

The greater your seniority within a particular area of Software Engineering, the more leverage you will have to negotiate a competitive salary. If you have specific Software Engineering skills and experience that are rarer to find, you can bet that several organisations will be eager to recruit you and pay you well. 

What is the average Software Engineer salary in Australia?

The average Software Engineer salary in Australia will vary based on location, seniority, and experience level. According to the 2020/21 Hays Salary Guide, a basic Software Engineer (.Net/Java) can make between $70,000 to $110,000 while a Full Stack Engineer (.Net/Java) earns between $110,000 and $130,000, depending on location. 

Use the Hays Salary Checker to look up Software Engineering salaries in your location. 

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How does a Software Engineer salary progress from entry-level to senior?

A Software Engineer job description will vary greatly depending on the organisation creatingAs your career progresses, your salary can grow to reflect the additional skills and experience you gain. An entry-level Software Engineer will be an individual contributor with key responsibilities that are focused on day-to-day activities. As your seniority increases, so too will your level of responsibility and remuneration. 

Entry-level Software Engineer salary

Entry-level Software Engineers have a good understanding of the technologies they use and have solid programming skills. They will be able to communicate effectively within a team, write clean code that is easy to read and understand basic design patterns. 

Their day-to-day responsibilities will include developing new products, debugging existing ones, supporting clients or end-users, and managing their own time. 

At this junior level, a Software Engineer will typically earn between $70,000 to $80,000

Mid-level Software Engineer salary

Mid-level Software Engineers will take on more responsibility and be a valued part of a larger team. They will make technical decisions and know the right technologies to use to solve complex problems. They will also perform code reviews, manage projects and interact with stakeholders.
 

You would be expected to know more advanced design patterns and technologies at this stage in your career. Some of your responsibilities will include:

  • Writing high-quality, scalable code that is maintainable
  • Debugging complex issues across the entire stack of a product or system
  • Developing sustainable solutions using continuous integration
Your skills will be highly valued by organisations looking to automate processes and improve their capabilities. Because of this, a mid-level Software Engineer could earn between $90,000 and $110,000

Senior Software Engineer salary

As a senior-level Software Engineer, you will be able to take on even more responsibility and ownership. You will typically work with the least guidance possible and can expect to become a leader within your team.
 

Some of the things you might do as a senior include: 

  • Being responsible for overall software design and architecture
  • Managing other Software Engineers (including mentoring junior ones)
  • Setting technical direction and/or owning key product features or components
  • Your responsibilities could involve managing projects, budgets, deadlines and other stakeholders. 
Your salary at this level will depend on your seniority, the number of people you manage, the size of your organisation and the industry. Senior Software Engineers can expect to earn between $110,000 and $140,000 on average.  

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